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Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 4:30pm
Morrill Hall, Room 404
Cornell University Dept, 159 Central Avenue, Morrill Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
Talk by Qamar Adamjee
This talk, a research project in its early stages, takes three 18th century Qing-period enameled vessels in the Denver Art Museum collection as a starting point for exploring their function, meaning, and context of use within a Chinese Muslim community. The copper vase, covered box, and incense burner are richly enameled cloisonne ware, a type of luxury goods that became very fashionable in the Qing period (1644-1911). Decorated with floral motifs and bearing pious Arabic inscriptions written in the distinctive Chinese sini script, these three vessels were possibly made as a set, similar to Chinese religious ritual altar sets, but for use in a Muslim context. The socio-political and religious histories of Muslim communities in China have been subjects of scholarship in recent decades, but much more work on the artistic production of (and for) Chinese Muslims remains to be done. Drawing upon the visual information included on these objects and by studying them alongside Qur'an manuscripts, mosques, and shrines, this paper situates the material culture of Sinophone Muslims within the context of Muslim ritual practice as well as within wider frameworks of imperial Chinese art, politics, and popular religion.